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Commencement of construction at Merkur brings changes to German portfolio

Posted By Bahzad Ayoub, 28 April 2017
Updated: 28 April 2017

The first monopile for the 396MW Merkur wind farm was installed on the 20th April, marking the commencement of construction at the project site. The foundation installation work is being undertaken by GeoSea and the company is using its jack-up vessel Innovation to undertake the work.

The Merkur wind farm is owned by a consortium consisting of DEME (12.5% interest), GE Energy (6.25% interest), InfraRed Capital Partners (25% interest) and Partners Group (50% interest). The wind farm will comprise of 66 6MW GE Haliade-6.0-150 turbines,  with Seafox winning the contract for the installation of the turbines at the project utilising their Seafox 5 jack-up vessel.

German Portfolio by Status (MW) 31st March 2017

Source: RenewableUK Project Intelligence

The above chart shows the total capacity of offshore wind projects in the Germany by status as of 31st March 2017 and the chart below shows the total capacity of offshore wind projects in the UK by status as of 28th April 2017. The start of construction at the Merkur project has increased the total MW’s of projects in the Germany which have a status of under construction from 2,450MW at the end of March to 2,846MW todayA further difference between the two pie charts that has occurred is the increase in the total capacity of projects which have a received grid agreements. This has occurred due to the recent auction in Germany resulting in four offshore wind projects winning grid connections. The winning projects were EnBW’s He Dreiht, and DONG’s Borkum Riffgrund 2 West, Gode Wind 3, and OWP West offshore wind farms.  

The OWP West and Borkum Riffgrund West 2 projects saw DONG Energy make bids of zero, meaning that these two projects will not receive, nor need government subsidy on top of the wholesale electricity price. EnBw also EnBW received approval for its He Dreiht project with a bid of zero. The Gode Wind 3 project was awarded on a bid price of €60 per MWh.

German Portfolio by Status (MW) 28th April 2017

Source: RenewableUK Project Intelligence

The start of construction at the Merkur project has also resulted in a changed with regards to RenewableUK’s project commissioning forecasts. The graph below shows RenewableUK’s forecasts for the total capacity for German commissioning activity by Status. Prior to the start of construction at the Merker project, a total of 2,047MW worth of projects that were under construction, were forecast to be commissioned by 2022. However, this has now increased and a total of 2,846MW worth of projects which are currently under construction are forecast to be commissioned over the next five years.   

The commissioning of Offshore wind projects in Germany are forecast to peak in 2019 with a total of 1,319MW worth of capacity coming online. This then greatly reduces over the next three years, with 2020 forecast to witness 307MW worth of capacity being commissioned, 2021 seeing 526MW worth of project commissioning and 544MW worth of capacity being commissioned in 2022. Although this decrease occurs, it is forecasted that the EnBw and DONG Energy projects which won grid agreements in the latest auction round will be commissioned between 2023 and 2025, resulting in a return to higher levels of deployment from 2023 onwards.

German Commissioning Activity & Forecast by Status (MWs p.a.)

Source: RenewableUK Project Intelligence


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